Lisa Shimmel is the project pirector for the College Completion Network Lead and a principal policy analyst at AIR. As the project director for the College Completion Network Lead, Shimmel manages the efforts of coordinating and collaborating with five research teams evaluating college completion interventions and communicating about their findings with policymakers and practitioners. Shimmel also serves as the deputy director of the Midwest Comprehensive Center where she focuses on managing technical assistance to the state education agencies in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Shimmel also serves as the deputy director of the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Statistics, Website, and Training contract. She oversees improvements to the WWC website and communication products to increase the accessibility of the WWC for practitioners and policymakers with the goal of giving them the tools and information they need to use evidence when they make decisions about policy and practice changes and implementation.
Shimmel previously led the REL Midwest communication and engagement activities, which included the development of the REL Midwest website, social media accounts, interactive mapping applications, events, blogs, videos, and data visualization and other collateral. Prior to joining AIR, Shimmel worked for Los Angeles Universal Preschool where she gained experience in preschool supply and demand and program quality. In each of these roles, Shimmel has provided support to policymakers and other education stakeholders regarding the use of evidence-based practices and the need for research to inform policy change. In addition, she has two years of teaching experience at the high school level and volunteered for a year with AmeriCorps VISTA as a community outreach coordinator for "I Have a Dream" - East Palo Alto.